I have severe memory issues. I am sure it was my mind protecting my soul, but what I do remember is enough. More than enough. I have shoved it back into the dark corner, brought it back out. I have been angry at it, sad about it, confused, and most importantly I have been enlightened by it. But I am always surprised to be reminded that we are forever healing from the wounds we carry.
I went through this facebook page reading and searching for the people who share my blood. Aunts and Uncles and cousins, grandparents... With each photo a dim light way off in the corner would flicker, and I would think, Oh yes, that is my Aunt... I remember applesauce making in her kitchen, and how she cut the apple open from side to side, to reveal the five pointed star...
I read to my 11 year old daughter, a a couple of writings that were posted by my Grandmother. It was about where her ancestors came from. I finally had a history suitable to share with an 11 year old. As I read out loud about my great grandfather, and how he came to America from Sweden, my daughter shouted out, We are SWEDISH?" Yes, we are, just a part. Then we talked about how her great, great Grandfather lived and worked near the place and around the same time as Laura Ingalls Wilder. She had done a book report about her, so it really gave her a sense of life back then and a connection for her. She immediately asked me if she could meet one of my Aunts particularly by name. I am not sure why she picked this one name, but she did. I took a deep breath, and thought about how this was the very Aunt who disbelieved us.
I also read another writing that my Grandmother wrote. She died when I was about 7. So reading her words were like her speaking to me. She was an artist, and extremely spiritual lady, and for awhile she kept chickens and pigs. She talked about one experience in her life, her tone changed into something recognizable to me. I could tell she had this beauty in her, no matter what her son grew up to be, I was gifted with these words...
"... I’ll never forget that first evening. We were very tired, so we went to bed early. All was very quiet when through the open French windows drifted the sweetest music from a distant hillside – the song of the whip-poor-will. I’ll cherish that memory always.
After, I read this, I felt a head ache coming on (weird for me) so went outside for some air and to help Rusty chop up the day's cast off vegetables from the market. Rusty stops chopping and says, what is that? I stop and listen thinking it is probably the coyotes. He says, "I thought it was maybe a baby goat sound, but it was just a whippoorwill."
I stood staring into the night. I barely heard it. My head was raging so I came in and drank some water and took a couple of Ibuprofen and a Naproxan. I will talk more and share more, once this headache goes away. I just had to get some of this out. Perhaps it will help my head.
Here is little me, a picture I have never seen before tonight. I am in the red, white and blue bathing suit with four of my brothers and sisters, doing peace signs. One of my Aunts in the pink is smiling at us.